Originally celebrated as a Celtic holiday called Samhain on October 31, Halloween has become a commercial success. People spend more money on Halloween than any other holiday except Christmas. Parties, costumes, trick-or-treating, and haunted houses all add to the fun, and unpredictability. Here are thirteen little known facts about Halloween to share.
1. Halloween was brought to North American by the European settlers who celebrated the harvest by sitting around a bonfire and singing songs, dancing, sharing ghost stories, and telling fortunes.
2. Orange and black are the colors of Halloween. Orange represents the harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.
3. Jack o’ lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hallowed out turnips to keep away spirits on Samhain. Beets were also used.
4. Pumpkins originated in Central America. When the Europeans arrived in the New World, they found that pumpkins were plentiful and being used as food by Native Americans. The settlers took the seeds back to Europe where they became very popular. Pumpkins come in several colors including orange, blue, white, and green.
5. In the United States, two billion dollars is spent on average each year on candy. The most popular type of candy with trick-or-treaters is Snickers.
6. It is believed that trick-or-treating began in Ireland. To prepare for All Hallow’s Eve, the townspeople would visit neighbors and ask for contributions for the feast in the town.
7. The ancient Celts thought spirits roamed the Earth on Samhain night. They wore masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.
8. The intense fear of Halloween is Samhainophobia. Other phobias stirred up this time of year include ailurophobia (cats), wiccaphobia (witches), phasmophobia (ghosts), arachnophobia (spiders), nyctophobia (the dark), and coimetrophobia (cemeteries).
9. According to legend, if you see a spider on Halloween, it is a loved one watching over you.
10. The Romans invented the tradition of bobbing for apples.
11. According to superstition, if you stare into a mirror at midnight on Halloween, you will see the reflection of your future spouse.
12. The record for the world’s largest pumpkin is currently held by a gigantic gourd weighing 1,385 pounds.
13. Vampire Bats do really exist, but they don’t live in Transylvania. They are native to South and Central America and feed on the blood of cattle, horses, and birds.
The Holiday Spot
Allen Avenue Elementary School